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Document 52014XC0809(05)

Publication of an application pursuant to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs

OJ C 260, 9.8.2014, p. 24–32 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

9.8.2014   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 260/24


Publication of an application pursuant to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs

2014/C 260/15

This publication confers the right to oppose the application pursuant to Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1).

AMENDMENT APPLICATION

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 510/2006

on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs  (2)

AMENDMENT APPLICATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 9

‘BEAUFORT’

EC No: EN-PDO-0317-01097 — 22.02.2013

PGI ( ) PDO ( X )

1.   Heading in the specification affected by the amendment

    Name of product

    Description of product

    Geographical area

    Proof of origin

    Method of production

    Link

    Labelling

    National requirements

    Other: inspections

2.   Type of amendment(s)

    Amendment to Single Document or Summary Sheet

    Amendment to specification of registered PDO or PGI for which neither the Single Document nor the Summary Sheet has been published

    Amendment to specification that requires no amendment to the published Single Document (Article 9(3) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006)

    Temporary amendment to specification resulting from imposition of obligatory sanitary or phytosanitary measures by the public authorities (Article 9(4) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006)

3.   Amendment(s):

Description of product

The provisions on renneting, cooking and pressing, which do not describe the product, have been moved and are now under the heading ‘Method of production’. The provisions on the fat content and dry matter content have been reworded and the contents have been expressed as percentages (the fat content is calculated on the dry product after complete dessication and the dry matter content is calculated on the aged product).

The paragraph on the identification of whole cheeses has been moved to point 4.4 of the specification, which deals with the identification of cheeses. The rewording of the text under this heading does not change the substance of the text but makes it easier to understand.

Geographical area

The presentation of the geographical area has been reworded in order to provide more detailed information on the geographical location of the area.

The only amendment concerns the municipality of ‘Les Contamines-Montjoie’, for which a list of the cadastral sections of the mountain pastures has been drawn up.

A map of the geographical area has been attached as an annex to this application.

Proof of origin

Owing to developments in national legislation and regulations, the heading ‘Evidence that the product originates in the defined geographical area’ has been consolidated and now includes provisions on declaration obligations and on the keeping of registers for tracing the product and monitoring production conditions.

Inspection of the PDO specification ‘Beaufort’ takes place according to an inspection plan drawn up by an inspection body.

Moreover, this section has been added to and supplemented by several provisions on registers and declarative documents enabling the cheeses' traceability to be guaranteed.

Operator identification:

A paragraph has been introduced specifying the conditions for identifying the operators.

Any operator wishing to implement this specification must present an identification declaration. The declaration must be addressed to the group prior to its accreditation and it must be made in accordance with a model validated by the Director of the National Institute for Origin and Quality.

Monitoring compliance with the production conditions:

A number of paragraphs have been added allowing the traceability of the cheeses to be guaranteed and specifying the supporting documents:

supplementing and adding provisions on declaration requirements,

supplementing and adding provisions on the keeping of registers and other documents made available to the inspection bodies,

adding provisions on other means of inspection.

Supplementary information on traceability and the declaration requirements necessary for production reporting and monitoring have been added to the specification.

Identification of products:

The paragraph has been reworded and supplemented, and the provisions on casein plates have been grouped under this heading.

‘Any cheese intended to be marketed under the name “Beaufort” must be identified with an oval-shaped blue casein plate. Its largest diameter must be 100 mm and its smallest must be 55 mm. It must be affixed to the heel of each whole cheese during the first stages of pressing and must bear the following inscriptions in black:

the word “France”,

the word “Beaufort”,

details identifying the production workshop,

the month and year of production expressed as numbers.

The day and month of production must appear on both sides of the blue casein plate, and they must remain legible until the end of the minimum ripening period.

The group is the only body authorised to deliver the casein plates to the operators. This is done once a month or, for the summer production period, at the beginning of the period.

Any operator whose accreditation has been suspended or withdrawn must return the casein plates to the group.’

These amendments provide more detailed information on the characteristics of the casein plates, their delivery and their withdrawal as well as on the length of time for which they must remain legible on the cheeses.

Method of production

The headings regarding the method of production have been amended in order to improve clarity and legibility. The term ‘herd’ has been defined in more detail. It refers to all lactating and dry dairy cows.

Diet:

More detailed rules on feeding have been laid down, in particular:

the use of sugar beet pulp in the feed has been prohibited. This foodstuff may give a bad taste to the milk and cause serious defects in the cheese (butyric).

copra cakes and palm kernel cakes have been replaced with pumpkin seeds and safflower seeds. The purpose of this change is to replace the cakes with by-products of oilseeds that have a good nutritional value.

the technical information on the composition of the supplementary feed has been redefined following an update of the scientific references (INRA), and it is often expressed as intervals rather than as target values (PDIE, PDIN, UFL, etc.)

a provision has been introduced allowing the whey from the processing of the milk of a single herd into cheese to be redistributed to the same herd during the winter period. This is an interesting feed supplement, as it is of nutritional value during the winter period.

a provision has been added on the minimum grazing period: the dairy cows graze after the snow has melted, as soon as the soil's bearing capacity allows and for as long as the weather conditions, the soil's bearing capacity and the presence of grass allow.

more detailed information has been provided on a transition period for the change of feed. Between the winter period and the grazing period a transition period of not more than 30 days a year instead of 15 days is allowed in the spring and in the autumn, during which period the maintenance ration must be composed of pasture grass and of hay. This amendment allows the feed plan for the winter period to be adapted to the summer period while taking into account any climate variations.

Milking:

More detailed information has been introduced prohibiting the use of certain udder care products and disinfectants that might be used to clean milking equipment. The purpose of these amendments is to prohibit the use of products containing essential oils, which have a very strong odour and may give the cheese a bad taste. Furthermore, the provisions on the cleaning of the equipment remove any ambiguity regarding the possibility for occasionally using disinfecting washing preparations.

Processing of the milk:

Detailed conditions for the raw materials used as ingredients in ‘Beaufort’ have been laid down, in particular:

the terms ‘raw’ and ‘renneted’, which do not belong in the description of this stage of the process, have been moved to another place under the heading. The rewording contributes to a better understanding of the matter and specifies the conditions for the storage of the milk and the duration of the storage.

a specification has been introduced on how to manage the input of cooled and uncooled milk, all or half of which is renneted from warm milk — a specific feature of the designation of origin ‘Beaufort’. If the input of milk takes place only once a day and consists of cooled and uncooled milk, the milking with the larger volume must not exceed 135 % of the volume of the other milking.

the principle of collecting the milk within two hours of milking, which is difficult to control, has been replaced with the principle of a maximum renneting period, which is very easy to control and which ensures rapid renneting from warm milk after its arrival at the cheese dairy. Renneting must be carried out before 12 noon for the morning production of cheese and before 23:00 for the evening production.

a specification has been introduced on the maximum carry-over volume of milk for ‘Beaufort’ cheeses followed by the indication ‘chalet d'alpage’. ‘Beaufort’ cheeses produced according to the conditions required for the use of the indication ‘chalet d'alpage’ are manufactured as soon as possible after milking. A maximum of 15 % of the total volume of milk from the two daily milkings may be carried over, after cooling, from one production to the next. Indeed, carrying over a small amount of milk in order to balance the quantities produced in the evening and the following morning is a common and traditional practice in the mountain pasture. The provision provides a framework for this traditional practice by limiting the carry-over to 15 % of the total volume of milk from the two daily milkings without changing the obligation to produce cheese twice a day.

As the preparation of starters and rennet is one of the specific characteristics of the designation (recuite with added whey acts both as a culture for the starter and helps obtain rennet), a provision has been introduced to limit, if necessary, the use of commercially produced rennet (limited to 30 % of the curdled milk in the vat).

Method of preparation:

The paragraph has been reworded in order to clarify the order of the different steps in the preparation of the cheese. The words ‘raw and whole’ used to describe the milk have been added to this paragraph. The concept of ‘cooking’ has been specified.

The duration of pressing has been set at a minimum of 15 hours.

Ripening:

The paragraph has been reworded in order to provide a better framework for the provisions on the temperature during ripening. The provision on hygrometry has been deleted. Indeed, this measure seemed rather irrelevant and it has been replaced with the obligation to obtain a smear-ripened rind.

More detailed information has been introduced on the smearing, which must be carried out either:

after the surface-salting of the cheese with coarse salt, by rubbing it with a salt solution called ‘morge’, which has first been used to rub well-smeared cheeses,

by turning the cheese, surface salting it with brine and rubbing it regularly.

After this phase, the cheese must continue to be smeared at least once a week in order to maintain the rind.

Owing to the size of the cheeses, the ripening process has been mechanised. As a result, practically all workshops have abandoned the practice of surface-salting the cheeses with coarse salt and instead surface-salt them with brine. Analyses have shown that the levels of salt are essentially the same as previously. The other amendments have been made for editorial reasons but do not reflect any changes in practices.

Labelling

The obligation to affix the European Union ‘PDO’ symbol has been introduced.

National requirements

In the light of changes to national legislation and rules, the ‘National requirements’ heading now contains a table indicating the main items to be checked, their reference values and the evaluation methods to be used.

Other

Analytical and organoleptic checks on the cheeses: Provisions have been introduced on analytical and organoleptic checks on the products.

References to inspection bodies: This part has been updated with the contact details of the certifying body for the PDO.

SINGLE DOCUMENT

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 510/2006

on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs  (3)

‘BEAUFORT’

EC No: EN-PDO-0317-01097 — 22.02.2013

PGI ( ) PDO ( X )

1.   Name

‘Beaufort’

2.   Member State or Third Country

France

3.   Description of the agricultural product or foodstuff

3.1.   Type of product

Class 1.3. Cheeses

3.2.   Description of the product to which the name in (1) applies

‘Beaufort’ is a cheese manufactured, using a hard-cheese pressing technique, exclusively from whole cream cow's milk which is taken in its raw state. It is salted in brine and then salted on the surface and ripened for at least five months.

The cheese itself is soft and creamy, ranging from ivory to pale yellow in colour, and can exhibit some fine horizontal slit eyes and small holes (‘bird's eyes’). The cheeses are flat with a concave heel, weigh 20 to 70 kg, have a diameter of between 35 and 75 centimetres and a height at the outer rim of between 11 and 16 centimetres. The rubbed rind is clean, solid and uniformly yellow to brown in colour. ‘Beaufort’ contains at least 48 % of fat after complete desiccation and a dry matter content that must not be less than 61 grams for every 100 grams of ripened cheese

Any cheese intended to be marketed under the name of ‘Beaufort’ must be identified with a blue, oval-shaped casein plate and traceability information printed in food-grade ink. In addition to the blue casein plate, ‘Beaufort’ cheeses produced under the specific conditions applicable for use of the description ‘chalet d'alpage’ must bear an additional square red casein plate placed on the heel of the cheese opposite the blue casein plate.

3.3.   Raw materials (for processed products only)

The milk used to produce the cheese must come exclusively from dairy herds consisting of cows of the local Tarine (another local name for the Tarentaise breed) and Abondance breeds which either correspond to the criteria laid down in the main section of the herd-book or have been authenticated on the basis of recognised phenotypical characteristics.

The raw materials used in manufacturing ‘Beaufort’ are:

raw whole-cream milk

either obtained from uncooled milk after each milking,

or obtained from the mixing of milk from two consecutive milkings within 20 hours of the first milking, the milk of which was cooled on the farm, whereas the milk from the most recent milking must be uncooled;

rennet obtained by the maceration of the whey in recuite. If need be, additional commercially produced rennet may be used, though it is limited to 30 % of the curdled milk in the vat:;

starter which is thermophilic and made up mostly of lactobacilli. Recuite with added whey which acts both as a culture for the starter and helps obtain rennet;

salt provided by an initial salting of 24 hours in brine and then another using coarse salt or brine during the ripening process.

The use of any other product for the manufacture of ‘Beaufort’ is prohibited.

3.4.   Feed (for products of animal origin only)

The herds' feed comprises:

during the winter period, at least 13 kg of hay per cow per day on average for the dairy herd, to which 3 kg of ground dehydrated lucerne may be added. The supplementary feed may not exceed a third of the weight of the average maintenance ration for the lactating dairy herd. Compound feeds are energy- and protein-rich feeds and production concentrates with a 16 % total nitrogenous content. The compound feeds come from defined species and non-GMO varieties and must exhibit the following technical characteristics: 0,89 of feed unit for lactation (UFL) per kilogram, 95 grams of ruminally degradable nitrogen (PDIN) and 125 grams of metabolisable protein supply (PDIE).

During the grazing season: the dairy cows graze after the snow has melted, as soon as the soil's bearing capacity allows and for as long as the weather conditions, the soil's bearing capacity and the presence of grass allow.

In the valley the complementary feed is the same as in the winter period and amounts to 2,5 kg per day per lactating cow on average for the dairy herd. In the mountain pasture, the complementary feed is at most 1,5 kg per lactating cow per day on average for the herd, and before 1 August it consists solely of cereals.

between the winter period and the grazing period a transition period of at least 30 days a year is allowed, during which the maintenance ration is composed of pasture grass and of hay.

Fodder is only brought in from outside the area for contingency purposes. At least 75 % of the dairy herd's needs for hay and pasture are supplied from within the geographical area, so that at least 75 % of the milk produced comes from fodder produced in the area. At least 20 % of the dairy cows' annual need for hay is supplied from within the geographical area.

The pastures are subject to traditional herd management and have manure spread on them. The application of sewage slurry or its by-products on fields, pastures and mountain pastures used in the production of ‘Beaufort’ is prohibited.

3.5.   Specific steps in production that must take place in the identified geographical area

Milk production, cheese manufacture and cheese ripening of a least five months in duration are carried out in the geographical area.

3.6.   Specific rules concerning slicing, grating, packaging, etc.

If the cheese is sold in pre-packaged pieces, each piece must have part of the designation's distinctive rind; however, the rind may be free of cheese smear. If the cheese is marketed after being grated, use of the designation ‘Beaufort’ is prohibited.

3.7.   Specific rules concerning labelling

The labelling of cheeses with the designation of origin ‘Beaufort’ must include:

the name of the designation in characters at least two-thirds the size of the largest characters on the label,

the European Union's AOP [PDO] symbol.

No other qualifiers or indications may be placed with the designation of origin on the label, in marketing material, on invoices or in commercial documents, with the exception of:

specific brand names or trademarks;

some terms: ‘été’ and ‘chalet d'alpage’, which may be used under the following conditions:

‘été’ is used to designate cheeses made from June to October inclusive, including cheeses made from Alpine milk.

‘chalet d'alpage’ is used to designate cheeses made from June to October inclusive twice a day in an Alpine chalet at an altitude greater than 1 500 m in accordance with traditional methods and which comprise, at most, the milk produced from a single herd in the chalet.

4.   Concise definition of the geographical area

The ‘Beaufort’ production region covers the high mountain area of the department of Savoie and includes the Beaufortain, Val d'Arly, Tarentaise and Maurienne massifs and two adjacent sectors in Haute Savoie.

The milk is produced and the cheese is manufactured and ripened in the geographical area comprising the following municipalities:

Department of Savoie:

Albertville district:

Entire cantons: Aime, Beaufort, Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Bozel, Moûtiers.

Parts of cantons:

Canton of Ugine: La Giettaz, Flumet, Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe, Crest-Voland, Cohennoz, Saint-Nicolas-la-Chapelle.

Canton of Albertville: Rognaix, La Bâthie, Cevins, Saint-Paul-sur-Isère, Esserts-Blay, Tours-en-Savoie.

Part of the following municipality: Albertville comprising the cadastral sections E2, E3 and E4.

District of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne:

Entire cantons: La Chambre, Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis, Modane, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne.

Parts of cantons: Canton of Aiguebelle: Montsapey.

Department of Haute-Savoie:

Bonneville district

Parts of cantons:

Canton of Sallanches: Praz-sur-Arly.

Canton of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains: part of the following municipality: Contamines-Montjoie comprising the cadastral sections D8 (partially), E6, E7, E8 (partially), F5 (partially), F6 (partially), F8 (partially), F9, F10, F11, F12, F13.

5.   Link with the geographical area

5.1.   Specificity of the geographical area

Natural factors:

The natural environment associated with the designation ‘Beaufort’ is characterised by the massifs of the Internal Alps, as defined principally by compact internal crystalline massifs, as well as sedimentary rocks in the Briançonnaise zone and, in part, external crystalline massifs in which may be present soft shale-type sedimentary rock.

Forming an interface between the Northern and the Southern Alps, as strictly defined, the geographical area of the designation of origin, where permanent grasslands cover 95 % of the area used by the cheese-making sector, makes the most of these advantages:

sufficiently high (though not too heavy) rainfall and deep soils allowing an abundant production of grass that is nourishing enough for the raising of dairy cows;

diversified flora rich in aromatic plants that is comparable to that of dry grassland.

The geographical area of the designation of origin ‘Beaufort’, which covers the Beaufortain massif, the valleys of Tarentaise, Maurienne and a part of Val d'Arly, is characterised by extensive mountain pastures (92 % of the pastoral units of Savoie).

Human factors:

Pastoral practices have developed on these mountain pastures which are not followed on the same scale elsewhere in the Alps either individually or as a whole and which constitute a single system. This system is characterised by a multi-tiered use of vegetation involving the complementary use of a valley floor, a slope and a mountain pasture. People and animals follow the growth of grass, and the daily presence of people enables on-site milking and the management of grass in a particular way that helps maintain the natural pastures.

The agri-pastoral system in place since the 17th century has moved with the times but remains faithful to its principles.

The mountain pastures used during 100-110 days in the summer period comprise:

the high mountains, which are host to a large herd (50-150 dairy cows). A pathway has been built to the mountain pasture and within it, making it possible for mobile milking machines to follow the herd, which travels over a distance of 1 500 m to 2 500 m to follow the growth of grass. The herd is composed of several regrouped herds;

the lower mountains, smaller in size and with a lower range of altitude, where the herds of individual families graze. Milking used to be carried out in chalets, though this practice is becoming rarer.

The milk (in particular in the high mountains) may be processed on the spot, but most of it is collected by workshops, which process milk all year long on valley floors (85 to 90 % of the production). The herds spend the winter in these valleys. Hay is made in the areas which the herds leave during the summer.

In between the valleys and the mountain pastures there is an intermediate area called ‘montagnette’, where the herds stay for a while in the spring and the autumn.

The production area is characterised by a tradition of cattle farming involving cows of the Tarine (another local name for the Tarentaise breed) and Abondance breeds. In fact, the Tarentaise Valley is the birthplace of the Tarine breed. In 1963 E. Quittet gave the following description: ‘the Tarentaise breed exhibits remarkable endurance and resistance to the most difficult conditions of life, owing to a large extent to the way it lives (spending periods in summer on mountain pasture at altitudes of between 1 500 and 2 000 metres). It remain in good condition for a long time, despite regular calvings. It possesses the remarkable ability to utilise roughage during the winter period, while still producing acceptable milk yields. The Tarentaise is an excellent milker, especially in harsh climates.’

The high fat content of the ‘Beaufort’ distinguishes it from other hard pressed cheeses. The technique developed in the early 17th century to make hard pressed cheeses spread rapidly to all mountain sectors in eastern France. It became possible for people in the ‘Beaufort’ region to wait until winter before marketing and consuming the milk produced in large quantities in the mountain pastures during the summer. This technique was created out of necessity but later acquired distinct characteristics directly linked to the environment (use of whole-cream milk and ripening in a cool cellar).

5.2.   Specificity of the product

‘Beaufort’ can be distinguished from all other hard pressed cheeses, owing in particular to:

the use of raw whole-cream milk in its manufacture straight after milking;

the use of a wooden mould known as a ‘cercle à Beaufort’, which gives the cheese a concave heel;

the use of traditional processing techniques (the use of wild strains of starter and the hooping of the cheese in linen cloth and the ‘cercle à Beaufort’, which requires the cheese to be turned over a number of times during pressing), in particular innoculation by means of thermophilic lactobacilli cultivated by the cheesemaker;

a paste completely or nearly without openness owing to the ripening in a cool cellar.

One of the particular organoleptic characteristics of ‘Beaufort’ is that the paste initially feels firm in the mouth but then melts without being excessively sticky. It must have diverse aromas that are not too strong.

5.3.   Causal link between the geographical area and the quality or characteristics of the product (for PDO) or a specific quality, the reputation or other characteristic of the product (for PGI)

The environmental particularities described have resulted in a very rich flora and a very diverse range of plant groups. All of the phytosociological groupings of lawns, dwarf shrub heaths and sandy heaths used in Alpine grazing can be found there.

According to several studies, for example Dorioz et al. (2000), Dorioz 1995; Inra, 1994, Dorioz and Van Oort, 1991, Legros et al., 1987, and Dorioz, 1995, the lawns present extreme variability and diversity, with a total of 250 to 300 species. Depending on the direction and the angle of inclination of the slopes and the types of soil, it is possible to encounter during a single cow-day a very varied supply of fodder.

This particularly appetising flora is prone to exhibiting a mix of aromas that manifests itself in the very particular and characteristic gustative qualities of ‘Beaufort’ (Dumont and Adda 1978, Buchin et al. 1999 and Asselin et al. 1999 in Dorioz et al. 2000).

The pastoral system is based on exploiting this great floral richness using herds composed of the local breeds Tarine and Abondance, which are managed with the help of pastoral practices entirely adapted to the environment. Furthermore, the processing of warm milk allows for the preservation of the milk's original qualities linked to the floral diversity. This is in keeping with the production of a fat cheese, where the milk is not skimmed and wild strains of starter are used. The use of a convex hoop enables adaptation to the significant variations in the quantities of milk produced in the mountain pasture, maintenance of the temperature within the interior of the cheese during pressing and the stability of the cheese's form. The ripening of the cheese in a cold cellar, an essential step for ensuring its quality, is the stage where the climatic conditions are the closest possible to those experienced at the high-altitude sites of production and is entirely consistent with the manufacture of a fatty cheese.

The production and processing techniques, taken as a whole, constitute a coherent system linked to the particularities of the product, which allows for a diversity of aromas arising from the particular flora to be expressed right through to the final product.

Reference to publication of the specification

(Article 5(7) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 (4))

https://www.inao.gouv.fr/fichier/CDCBeaufort.pdf


(1)  OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, p. 1.

(2)  OJ L 93, 31.3.2006, p. 12. Replaced by Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012.

(3)  See footnote 2.

(4)  See footnote 2.


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